Dyer Family Happenings

A.K.A. Mommy needs a place to write!

Faith, love and lowering expectations — July 11, 2015

Faith, love and lowering expectations

Every morning the boys and I say a prayer out loud together:

“Heavenly Father thank you for this beautiful day for learning and for love. In Jesus’ name, Amen”

That’s it. My hope is that the boys will realize that the world doesn’t revolve around them. That there are other hands that make things happen and that we need to not just BE thankful for those hands but we need to TELL those hands we are thankful for them. In toddler world I have no clue if it resonates but we are gonna keep saying it every day.

There have been giant leaps in our household- Leo swimming without a vest or floaties, Max using 2 word sentences more and more, Leo can (in his own almost legible way) write his name without hand over hand help or a drawn guide, Max is growing (I’m pretty sure his feet grew two sizes over night), Leo is mastering sight words (reading here we come!!!!) and Max is conquering his fear of swimming pools.

At the same time we have had some ugly stuff- Leo overhead throwing a chair at school, Max having a full blown screaming/ stiff body meltdown because he needed to finish a task before he got his blanket back, not eating, throwing, hitting, screaming, pinching, ugly words.

My guess is that all parents have these issues with their toddlers. Always pushing boundaries, my hope is that they don’t have them to the extreme we have them here, I don’t wish that on anyone.

I joke(but I’m really serious) that I could do physical labor all day everyday and I’d be tired but Id pull through it, but the emotional drain of dealing with behaviors from my kids wipes me out. It drains every bit of strength, every bit of positivity, every bit of patience I have. And I really need to work on that.

The good days make me excited for the possibility of new growth and learning and the horrific moments knock me down. I feel like I start to expect too much from my kids and then I am let down when they aren’t up to my expectations and that is so wrong on my part. Yes, I need to have expectations of them, and yes they should be just outside of their reach and comfort zone, but I should not be placing 7 year old expectations on my 4 year old and I feel like that’s what I do when he fails. And when he fails he is crushed and his world ends. You can see it across his face. He is just like his mommy with wearing his emotions out in the open so everyone knows.

In these moments I am learning to back off, to lower my expectations to attainable things and to love my children. More importantly to make sure I TELL them I love them. They need to hear those words out of my mouth more. They need to know that I love them, even after awful behavior, they need to hear that I love them even when they act out in ways that embarrass me and break me down, and hurt my heart. They need to know that I will love them as I teach them these things are not okay, that they will happen but that we can find a better way to tackle the situation. That it doesn’t matter what happens my love for them is for always.

And I don’t TELL them this enough. Because I’m embarrassed. Because my heart hurts. Because I am emotionally drained. Because …. because nothing.

1Peter 4:8 “Above all, love each other deeply,1 because love covers over a multitude of sins.”

“Heavenly Father thank you for this beautiful day for learning and for love. In Jesus’ name, Amen”

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The Love Purpose — May 4, 2015

The Love Purpose

Something I’ve noticed with the “quirks” of Leo’s autism, is that there is always a purpose behind his words or actions. If he has ugly words or slaps or screams- he’s (most of the time) on sensory overload. He’s answers to questions are thought out. If he doesn’t understands he repeats the question. His toy playing is always precise and focused. There isn’t any “tra-la-la” about him. (Max, that kid is a whole different ballgame 🙂 )

A couple of months ago I shifted my thoughts and actions to have purpose. To try to cut fanciful thoughts of this and that and to put things into action- in a very intentional way. Sounds pretty boring right? Well, I’m not a frills and glitz gal (anymore). I’m just trying to figure out how to make it through each day:

1. without flying off the handle
2. without feeling like the weight of the world is on my shoulders
3. without crying
4. without yelling
5. without understanding what our short term and long term goals are as people

It started with walking. I have now walked- with purpose (for exercise) at least a mile a day for 50 days straight (today will be 51). The purpose- making me healthy. The changes I’ve made in health have ridded me of blood pressure medication, migraine medication and mood elevators. I take a multi vitamin. That. is. it. I need to be physically healthy to run after my kids, to be able to process all of the information that is consistently being thrown my direction and to rid myself of anger. I am the healthiest- not just weight wise- I’ve pretty much ever been. And I love my new body.

My purpose with people has always been to love and accept, even when its hard, even when I’d rather walk away. Why? Because there isn’t enough “just because” love in this world. Some things don’t need a “because”. They just need love. I’ve always been of the frame of mind that you love, love until it hurts, love because it hurts, love when it hurts, love when its awesome, to make sure the people around you know that they are loved.

I was shown so very much love this past week by having an amazing woman go above and beyond for my family. She secured Leo’s spot in the school he needs to be in next year. She didn’t have to, but her heart and the way she loves is something so rare. Thank you isn’t a big enough pair of words, but it’s all I have for her. That and to continue to learn and to advocate for my children to ensure their success in life. And to love, to love my kids, their teachers, even the people that make decisions that might not be the best for our needs. I’m gonna love them all- until it hurts. Until they understand my heart and that I am not a quitter.

On the flip side I was shown some very ugly this past week too. Our family are W.I.C. recipients. It’s something I am so very grateful for, and again when I thank our case worker we see every 3 months those words don’t feel like they are big enough. It’s hard having to ask for help. It’s harder having to present coupons for food at a store. But I would do anything I needed to for my children. I was publically shamed by a cashier at Target Friday. She questioned if the coupons were actually mine- twice. I answered yes and then asked if she needed to see my drivers license. She huffed and puffed when I had coupons for my WIC items (which the WIC office supports, if couponing is your thing), she had a horrible attitude toward me the entire transaction. I kept my attitude in check. I was polite- I even offered her my pen when she didn’t have one to fill out the totals on my WIC checks. Why? Because she needs to know that that kind of behavior is unacceptable. Because if I show love, and live love hopefully it will catch on like wildfire.

So my purpose, good bad or otherwise will always be to love. Love people and changes, and situations. And to remember that I too am loved not only for my purpose but for who I am becoming.

Understanding one another — March 3, 2015

Understanding one another

Everyone has “stuff”.
Everyone has family “issues” (I despise that word)

All kids have learning challenges. Be it words or food, social exchanges, waking up on time, going to bed at a reasonable hour. That’s why we as parents have to teach them. Sometimes the things that we have to teach are hard. Harder than anyone outside the security of our homes understands. Even when we are open and talk about things.

I am open, probably too much at times. But there are things and situations with my children that people don’t know about. There are things I have to keep in my heart, because I don’t want them to be looked down on, judged or thought to be anything other than what they are.

I am so aware that my boys are going to succeed. They are smart, they are loving and they win the hearts of people around them. They will never fail for long. There are too many people rooting them on. But the moments- that can last just that or a year and a half- sometimes feel like they will never end. That we won’t tackle it soon enough, that we aren’t understanding what in the hell is going on.

And then something beautiful happens. Or nothing happens. And those are both wins.

Becoming a mom has been the most amazing thing in my life thus far. It has brought out so many things I need to work on. Patience, loving even when you’re mad, anger triggers, frustration, unconditional love, fighting with love, teaching and persistence. I’m not some kind of super mom, I’m just a woman learning right next to my kids. They teach me daily.

I’m having to work on things that are said to me in all areas of my life and not taking them to heart. I wear that thing the size on Texas on my sleeve. I’ve tried to hide it but that’s not where it’s place is. It’s right out in the open, for all to see. I can’t lie about my feelings, when I try I’ll say everything is “fine”. But things aren’t I’m just not ready to open up about them.

I know I’m in no way the only person wired this way. I know that most things from friends and family come from a place of love, but understand that there are some phrases that will almost always sting. And minimizing my feelings or worries are at the top of that list.

Sometimes to understand one another we need to just listen.

Sometimes there are no words.

Oh Monday, today you rocked! — November 11, 2014

Oh Monday, today you rocked!

The boys finally sleeped past 4:30 am

Leo ate a great breakfast and had a wonderful day at school. We came home to an impromptu playdate with a wonderful set of triplet friends. His wonderful tutor today totally rolled with it. So the majority of ABA was outside with friends today. Leo played WITH the other kids. Not next to them, not alone, not akwardly near them, WITH them.

He and Max had more outside time after ABA. At dinner Leo voluntarily picked up and ate a green bean. My jaw hit the table.

Today made me so thankful for everyone that loves, teaches and believes in our family. I am so lucky to have strong women friends that smile and laugh and are raising beautiful children. I am so lucky to have everything that I have, things I never knew I needed and the resources to make Mondays like these happen.

Delayed speech, big lil dude and the sweetest 3 1/2 year old on the planet. — October 18, 2014

Delayed speech, big lil dude and the sweetest 3 1/2 year old on the planet.

Max had his well visit, he’s a big boy. Our Peditrician said he’s on the path to being bigger than Leo and Leo is a DUDE. (My thoughts on purchasing a grocery store and a pants store to get us through the teenage years may need to come into reality..) Max measured in at 31lbs and 33″ tall. He is solid, and smiley and only has 2 words. It seemed like he had closer to 5 maybe a month ago, but “wassat” and “momma” are it for right now. So I racked my brain trying to remember where we were with Leo at a year and a half. (I know you can’t compare your kids, but he’s all I’ve got to go on)

Leo never had a problem with words. He had lots, never in sentences but lots of words- labeling words. And then one day or a month went by and there weren’t any new ones. And his Leo jibber jabber was in the forefront of his speech. Max hasn’t ever really had words. Our Peditrician referred him to speech therapy. And I’m worried. He is what he is, and he will be amazing and full of love regardless, but damnit. I don’t want him to struggle with words like Leo still does at times. I don’t want him to go through the frustration of not being able to tell us what he needs.

I started with the PEC book with him today. It’s going to become part of his and my one on one time while Leo is at “school” 3 days a  week. But, I’m worried. A lot.

Leo rocked his first day at the clinic. He has different tutors when he is there. He played with another little gal there, and I guess the ball pit was his favorite. I am really excited for some sensory integration into his therapy. Bouncing, ball pit, finger paint whatever. He licked a baby carrot and some ranch dressing this week- and last night ate a quesadilla with some apple in it.  Made me a super happy momma.

When we were leaving the clinic he stopped, looked up at me and said “momma, I have friends”. It’s a good thing I had my sunglasses on because I cried like a baby. I have been so worried he wouldn’t be able to make friends. It was always so hard for me as a kid to make friends and I don’t want that for him. I want him to run and smile and laugh and play. I want there to be kids at his birthday parties, and I want him to get invitations to different things with his peers. Being accepted. I want him to be accepted.

It’s been a week. I’m happy for a zoo trip tomorrow and some family time Sunday.